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A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: "The Government believes that any change to the law in this emotive and contentious area is an issue of individual conscience and a matter for Parliament to decide rather than Government policy."
David Cameron and Vladimir Putin have spoken on the phone about Ukraine, with the Prime Minister urging a de-escalation of the ongoing crisis in the country.
A statement from Downing Street said: "The Prime Minister called President Putin this morning to urge him to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine and to support the formation of a contact group that could lead to direct talks between the governments of Russia and Ukraine."
Number 10 added that both sides "agreed that it is in all our interests to have a stable Ukraine", noting that President Putin stated he was seeking a diplomatic solution to the ongoing tensions.
Mr Cameron also underlined the importance of Ukraine choosing its own future, stating "the elections, currently scheduled for the end of May, provide the best way to do this".
Officials investigating the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner with 239 people on board are narrowing the focus of their inquiries on the possibility that it disintegrated in mid-flight, a senior source has told Reuters.
Malaysia Airlines flight 370 vanished after climbing to a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing on Saturday, but search teams have still not been able to make any confirmed discovery of wreckage in seas beneath the plane's flight path almost 48 hours after it took off.
"The fact that we are unable to find any debris so far appears to indicate that the aircraft is likely to have disintegrated at around 35,000 feet," said the source, who is involved in the investigations in Malaysia.
If the plane had plunged intact from such a height, breaking up only on impact with the water, search teams would have expected to find a fairly concentrated pattern of debris, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly on the investigation.
Pro-Russian supporters have clashed with Ukrainian supporters in the city of Sevastopol:
A Vietnam Navy plane has found an object suspected of belonging to the missing Malaysian Airlines plane, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.
A Liberal Democrat MP wore a Nigel Farage mask at the party's conference as she mocked the Ukip leader's penchant for beer.
Just before Nick Clegg's appearance, Lorely Burt also mocked a former-Ukip councillor's claim that this winter's floods had been brought on by the introduction of gay marriage.
The Co-operative is to hand a £3.6 million pay deal to its chief executive, according to reports - despite facing a £2 billion loss after the biggest crisis in its history.
According to the Observer, Euan Sutherland will receive a base salary of £1.5 million this year, plus a £1.5 million retention payment. He joined the company in May last year, having been chief operating officer of B&Q owner Kingfisher.
The mutual argues that Mr Sutherland's proposed remuneration package will be in line with comparable firms and reflects the scale of the task he faces, the paper says.
But the pay award would come at a time when the group is facing large-scale job cuts after a disastrous year in which its banking arm needed rescuing due to a £1.5 billion hole in its balance sheet.
ITV News' Europe Correspondent Emma Murphy is in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk:
Scuffles in #donetsk as some pro Ukraine supporters dare show their flag. Crowd turned on them, fireworks thrown. Third of a mile chase.
Police surrounded those under attack but had nowhere to take them. Long dash down rd with crowd in pursuit
Vladimir Putin has told Angela Merkel an upcoming referendum in Crimea is in accordance with international law.
In a phone call between the two leaders, Putin said the actions of the Crimean parliament were aimed at protecting the legitimate interests of the population in the peninsula.
A statement from the Kremlin added that, while Putin and Merkel differed in their view on the situation in Ukraine, they were agreed that a de-escalation of tensions should be achieved as soon as possible.
The Liberal Democrats are the only guardians of a "modern, open and tolerant Britain", leader Nick Clegg has said to the party's spring conference.
Mr Clegg defended his party's role in the coalition government, and said the party must remain in power after next year's general election to ensure the "reconstruction and renewal" of the country.
The deputy prime minister added that, though many "still feel the squeeze" of the recent economic downturn, British people can "finally see the light at the end of the tunnel".